Written by: Jagat
Edited by: Lucas
Visual by: Johanna
Manny ‘Pac-Man’ Pacquiao and Conor ‘the Notorious’ McGregor are among the world’s most renowned and respected figures in the martial arts world. Pacquiao, also a Senator of the Philippines, specializes in boxing and is known for his elite explosiveness that will catch opponents off guard. Many regard him as among the greatest professional boxers of all time. McGregor is a retired mixed martial artist of Irish nationality, known for his admirable grit and controversial swagger inside and outside of the octagon.
On September 25th, McGregor took it to his infamous social media to publicly announce a possible return to the canvas in an abrupt tweet: “Anyways all water under the bridge who gives a [expletive]. I’m boxing Manny Pacqiao next in the Middle East.” Despite fans around the world knowing that McGregor’s time in professional combat hadn’t yet elapsed, they were still taken aback by his spontaneous announcement. Senator Pacquiao’s aide, Jayke Joson, confirmed the crossover in a statement released by ESPN: “Senator Pacquiao will be fighting UFC superstar Conor McGregor next year.” While no official date and confirmation with broadcasting networks has been set, the internet couldn’t help but explode with speculations and comments on the highly anticipated duel.
MMA and boxing crossovers are not new to sports headlines. In August of 2017, McGregor took Floyd Mayweather, perhaps the most decorated boxer in history, to 10 rounds of grueling combat before losing by technical knockout. While many spectators perceived McGregor’s boxing debut to be a rather anticlimactic showdown, the money generated by the fight was like none ever seen before. Senator Pacquiao’s upcoming fight with McGregor is predicted to arouse similar numbers in viewership and publicity. Though there is a general consensus that Pacquiao will end up with the win, many analysts predict more mature and refined boxing from McGregor on top of his already showcased talent, something that will challenge the Filipino boxer. Regardless of the debate, the two fighters should be commended for their pledges of their direct earnings toward COVID relief.
In the aforementioned statement, Joson revealed that “a huge portion of [Pacquiao’s] earnings will proceed to those who are affected nationwide by the pandemic.” As of yet, no specific service organization has been announced to be cooperating with the fighter. Pacquiao, nothing short of a humble and selfless figure in the industry, has once again proven that no matter the circumstance, his priorities always revolve around securing the wellbeing of the Filipino people.
There is no doubt that this fight will be one for the ages. Boxing is a sport where every penny is rightfully earned – the countless hours in the gym and the strict dietary regimens are unparalleled. In spite of this, the fighters’ pledge to donate earnings toward an urgent and needful cause is something that should be acknowledged and deserving of praise. Hopefully this act of selflessness is not a one time thing in the sports world and is something that will be perpetuated in the years to come.
With that being said, stay on the lookout for announcements for the fight!